Morrisons confirms go-live date for online grocery service

Morrisons has confirmed that customers will be able to buy its groceries online by the end of January 2014.

In its interim results for the half year to 4 August 2013, the supermarket said that it was “on schedule” with its online food proposition.

Dalton Philips, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “Our strategy for growth in convenience and online is now set.

“We’ve been working at pace on our online offer; the final pillar of our strategy. will be making home deliveries of our great fresh food by the end of January 2014, supported through our long-term service agreement with [online supermarket] Ocado.”

A Morrisons move to online channels has been called for by City analysts for a number of years. The company has, until now, proved resistant to online, even though its supermarket rivals had already firmly jumped on the online bandwagon.

Meanwhile, the company said that its £300 million IT systems upgrade programme was “progressing well”, and that it would be the foundation for “further cost savings in 2014/15”. It has also introduced electronic ordering in its stores to improve productivity.

“When completed, our business and stores will go from having the worst systems to the best, leapfrogging a generation,” Philips said earlier this year.

The operational progress Morrisons has made in the period is against a backdrop of a decline in pre-tax profit of £344 million, from £440 million in 2012/13.

Morrisons made its first foray into online with the purchase of baby goods online retailer in 2011.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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